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Vivien Thomson (Formerly Terry) is a single mother who is expecting her fourth child but is currently under the scrutiny of a social worker and needs the assistance of Lucille Robinson to help her not be branded an unfit mother.

Overview[]

Vivien was a cleaner under the care of Nurse Lucille Robinson. She lives at home with two of her sons, Antony a teenager and George, a small boy. It was the first time she had been seen with that pregnancy and she hadn’t bought any supplies but she saw it as a fuss over nothing. She had a drawer for a bed and plenty of breast milk, she considered herself good with babies and found childbirth quite simple, when asked about her husband she says he is very busy working.

When Lucille came by for another home visit she asked her about her childcare plans when she needed to go back to work, she tells Lucille she wouldn’t have to as she cheated her way out of the rent by bringing down a hole in the roof as it was coming down anyway and her landlord didn’t have the money to fix it. After that the police called on the door with her son Antony who was caught stealing baby supplies out of desperation for his mother and unborn sibling. At first she is sure there was a mistake but when Antony admits it she lashes out and offers to pay for whatever he took but she is still told her son was referred to the juvenile liaison department.

After that Vivien offers Lucille some tea in a cup washed by Antony who was put on washing up duty as he wanted to help out, though it wasn’t washed very well. Vivien becomes scared for Antony as her social worker will think it ran in the family, Colin her eldest was in Borstal. She then goes into her past, her first husband Archie was a soldier back from Dunkirk and he was violent, she always wondered if it was the war or if she was just like that, they had the two sons Colin and Antony until he was arrested after a pub brawl, Vivien realises it was a blessing really. She struggled with drink and social services got involved, but then she met Mr Thomson and had George. Vivien is adamant she can look after her family by herself.

Her social worker Miss Palmer who Vivien describes as “hoity toity” speaks to Lucille as she didn’t think Vivien could cope and wanted to get her contraception to not conceive again. Lucille agrees to speak to Vivien where she smokes during her pregnancy, Lucille brings up contraception and Vivien takes it badly getting rather offended, she says he spends all her time thinking about her sons going to prison or getting out as well as paying bills and putting food on the table, contraception was the last thing on her mind. She is even more angry when she finds out all of this was because of the social worker thinking she was an unfit mother. She informs Lucille her didn’t need contraception because her husband walked out on her when he found out she was pregnant. She wanted nothing less than her social worker going back and forth, she was a proud woman, she prided herself on always putting her children first.

As it happened her pregnancy coincided with a scabies outbreak in Poplar and she caught it. When she went into labour she decided against calling Lucille despite Antony’s concern. Antony seeing his mother was clearly in advanced labour decided to call Nonnatus House, when Lucille arrived she found Vivien had been trying to use bleach for the scabies but Lucille assures her it was nothing to be ashamed of, she also takes the time to apologise for her prior actions. She also says they should be on first name terms if she was going to be poking round in her “nether regions” as she puts it.

Vivien is in distress and not just from contractions, she said she had nightmares about Antony going to prison and she was terrified the social worker would take the baby away from her. Her son Antony attends the birth, Lucille encourages her, telling her not everyone could cope with all life had thrown at her and her baby was lucky to have such a courageous mother something Antony agrees with. Vivien soon gives birth to a baby girl who she happily holds.

Not long after the birth Vivien’s social worker decides to come by to refer her to a contraceptive clinic that limits the sizes of “problem families” and Lucille decides to kick her out. Vivien had yet to think of a name, her sons suggested names but she still isn’t sure of one. Vivien thinks she is a terrible mother, her milk hadn’t come through and she even asked Antony to get a bottle. Lucille assures her it’s normal to feel low after giving birth.

Lucille decides to take matters into her own hands and goes to see friend and local councillor Violet Buckle to confront her about the scheme that as she puts it helps problem families limit their family size, though it was more about limiting the problems for the council to deal with.

In her next visit Lucille gives Vivien some baby boots, Vivien also says she had her treatment for scabies. Vivien is also given a letter from the social worker agreeing to remove her from the referral list, she smiles at Lucille fully getting back her trust. She then tells Antony from then on he would be changing his sisters nappies, who she named Connie, as in Constance because she never gave up on her, she also clarifies that just because she could have another baby she didn’t have to.

She is finally seen holding her daughter while Antony practised changing his baby sister with a teddy, while the hole in the roof was finally fixed.

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